Upstate News

June 27, 2007
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Central New York Biotechnology Research Center wins $250,000 state grant

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Central New York Biotechnology Research Center (CNY BRC) and its partners, SUNY Upstate Medical University, the Hilliard Corp., Corning Inc., and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, have been awarded a $250,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to fund bioprocessing research.

John Fieschko, Ph.D., executive director of the CNY BRC, said the grant will fund bioprocess development work for the production of biofuels and bioproducts from renewable resources using a novel, energy efficient filtration system.

A key component of the grant work will be the testing of a sturdy filtration system that is a necessary element to bioprocessing.

Hilliard Corp. will develop the filtration system using a ceramic membrane manufactured by Corning Inc. The filtration system will be designed and tested using the large-scale fermenters at SUNY-ESF.

“Separating microbial cells from fermentation broth is essential to bioprocessing, and the development of a high quality filter, such as the one created by Corning is essential to this process,” said Fieschko.

“Industry is always on the lookout for a durable filter that can stand up to the pressure of the sterilization process, be energy efficient and excel at ridding unwanted microorganisms from the product,” he said.

Fieschko said a filtration system, such as the one to be tested, could also be used in food and biopharmaceutical manufacturing applications that require the separation of microorganisms from fermentation broths.

Fieschko said the project funded by NYSERDA is an excellent example of how the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center can foster progressive partnerships among business, government and academia to advance ground-breaking research. “We all have a level of expertise that we bring to the table with the common goal of improving society,” Fieschko said.

Fieschko also noted that the parties involved in this project all have a Central New York connection. Hilliard Corp., is based in Elmira, N.Y., and Corning Inc., has its world headquarters in Corning, N.Y.

“Over and over, we continue to see how this region is moving forward in the area of bioprocessing,” he said. “It’s clear that we need to create even more opportunities that will increase the number of participants in these projects to bring the greatest benefit to this region.”

The Central New York Biotechnology Research Center is a public/private partnership involving SUNY-ESF, SUNY Upstate Medical University, the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York the Syracuse VA Medical Center and various corporations and industry associations.

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